The 1984 Nike Air Ship shoes that billionaire Michael Jordan wore in his fifth NBA game went up for sale and recently brought a staggering $624,000 (N479.23 million).
According to The Times, Jordan served as a spokesperson for Nike and is often recognized as the greatest player in NBA history.
Goldin Auctions’ sale of these sneakers included an initial winning bid of $520,000 (N399.36 million), but Bleacher Reports reports that the final price also included a 22% buyer’s premium totaling $624,000 (N479.23 million) to cover auction expenses.
The sneakers, which had MJ’s autograph and a photo that positively identified their use on November 1, 1984, during his fifth game against the Denver Nuggets, were an important piece of basketball history.
Notably, Jordan wore the Nike Air Ships throughout his 1984 NBA rookie season before the Air Jordan brand was even introduced.
The man who owned the autographed trainers for 40 years was a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets by the name of Tj Lewis.
Lewis went up to Jordan in the locker room following a Bulls game in an effort to obtain the sneakers as a souvenir.
Jordan surprised him by not only noticing him but also by handing over and signing the sneakers he had worn that evening.
A special inscription was written on one of the shoes: “My Very Best to TJ Michael Jordan.”
Forbes believes that Michael Jordan, who won six titles with the Chicago Bulls and is regarded as the best player in NBA history, is worth $2 billion.
His professional earnings were $90 million, but his profitable business relationships with companies like Gatorade, Hanes, and Nike have increased his pre-tax earnings to an astounding $1.8 billion.
As part of his business endeavours, Jordan has also owned a NASCAR franchise, worked as a special advisor and investor for sports betting company DraftKings, and sold a minority investment in the Charlotte Hornets in a 2019 deal that valued the NBA team at $1.5 billion.